What Is It?
How Does It Work?
What Happens During Treatment?
What Is It Used For?
What Is It?
Reflexology is the technique of applying pressure to specific areas
on the soles of the feet (reflex points), to relieve ailments in other
parts of the body. According to reflexologists, the body is divided
into zones which are mirrored in the feet and hands. Massaging specific
zones on the feet promotes healing in corresponding zones of the body.
Massaging of the feet as a health treatment can be traced back to
the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Japanese and Indians. However, the
modern form of reflexology grew out of a system called “zone
therapy”, which was developed by American physician and surgeon
William Fitzgerald in the early 20th century. Zone therapy was used
mainly to treat pain, and involved massaging the feet, hands and tongue.
An early practitioner of zone therapy, Eunice Ingham, found that the
feet were the most effective areas to manipulate, and that this treatment
could relieve other ailments besides pain. Ingham created maps of the
feet that showed how certain “reflex points” related to
other parts of the body. For example, the toes correspond to the head
and neck, the ball of the foot mirrors the chest and lungs, and the
heel corresponds to the sciatic nerve and pelvic area.
How Does It
Several theories exist to explain how reflexology works, although none
have been scientifically verified. One theory holds that a vital energy
flows along channels from the feet to the organs of the body, and that
diseases are caused by blockages to this energy flow. By stimulating
reflex points on the feet, these blockages are removed. This is similar
to the theory behind traditional Chinese medicine, where acupoints
are stimulated to improve the flow of qi (energy) to distant parts
of the body. Another theory is that stimulation of reflex points on
the feet triggers the release of natural painkilling chemicals in the
brain (endorphins and monoamines). Some suggest that the relaxing effect
of reflexology opens the blood vessels and improves circulation.
What Happens During
On the first visit to a reflexologist you will be asked about your
general health and any specific problems you have. You will then be
asked to remove your shoes and socks and recline on a padded table
or chair. Your practitioner will examine your feet and gently massage
them with talcum powder or lotion to prepare the feet for treatment.
Your reflexologist will note any areas of tension in the foot which
indicate problems in corresponding parts of the body. S/he will then
apply pressure to those parts of the foot, treating one foot, then
the other. Most reflexologists only work with the feet, a few also
work with the hands. Your practitioner may teach you how to perform
reflexology on yourself, showing you the appropriate reflex points
Sessions usually last for 30-60 minutes, and are scheduled once a
week initially, then are spaced more widely to once every two weeks
or once a month until the condition has cleared up.
What Is It Used
Reflexology, as a complementary therapy, has been used to treat stress
related ailments, as well as premenstrual tension, headaches, asthma,
acne, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome, digestive disorders, and chronic
pain caused by conditions such as arthritis and sciatica. The relaxing
effects of reflexology can also be beneficial for people suffering
from major diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s
If you have a foot injury, or ulcers, blood clots, thrombosis, phlebitis,
or other vascular problems in your lower legs, check with your doctor
before you have reflexology.
If you are pregnant, discuss treatment with your obstetrician and
your reflexologist. Vigorous stimulation of the feet may cause uterine
Let the reflexologist know if you have a pacemaker, gallstones or
kidney stones so s/he can avoid stimulating related parts of the feet.
Some short term side effects may include more frequent urination or
bowel movements, and increased perspiration and secretions of mucus.
These are related to the removal of toxins from the body and are nothing
to worry about.
a Reflexology Practitioner
Prices are in US Dollars
Better Health With Foot Reflexology
Dwight C. Byers
Excellent training guide to conduct the Ingham Method of
Foot Reflexology on yourself and others. This is a newly
revised and expanded edition with large colour photos, much
more educational material and there have been more foot reflexology
techniques added. This book is an amazing source for one
to learn about the body's functions and how all of the organs
and glands can be manipulated through reflexology on the
feet. Better Health With Foot Reflexology is a best-seller
in the alternative health care industry today.
HANDS ON FEET The New System That Makes Reflexology
Michelle R. Kluck
Understanding reflexology doesn't have to be difficult!
In Hands on Feet, you'll find a complete history of reflexology,
along with a list of the top 10 benefits of reflexology and
descriptions of different reflexology techniques, such as
kneading, thumb-walking, and finger-crossing. Also included
is a pair of Reflexology Sox ™, the new revolutionary
tool designed by massage therapist Michelle R. Kluck. These
silky ultra-thin socks offer a map of the human body on the
soles of your feet—and indicate exactly where you should
press to affect certain parts of the body and alleviate ailments
due to allergies, anxiety, depression, hangovers, headaches,
migraines, PMS, and more!
The Reflexology Manual: An Easy-To-Use Illustrated
Guide to the Healing Zones of the Hands and Feet
Full-colour illustrations throughout. Detailed diagrams
of pressure-point zones on the hands and feet. Clear explanations
of how to work with the energy meridians. Ideal for beginners
as well as experienced students of reflexology.
An ancient therapy used in China, Egypt, and India, reflexology
provides effective, holistic treatment for both common and
more serious disorders. According to reflexology, the hands
and feet are microcosms of the body, containing points or
zones that relate to individual glands, nerves, muscles,
and organs. Reflexology harnesses the body's healing energy
by stimulating specific pressure points on the hands and
feet, alleviating the energy blocks that can cause pain or
disability and restoring optimum health. In The Reflexology
Manual, the practical text guides the reader in mastering
these self-help techniques, and colour photographs illustrate
a full reflexology treatment step by step.
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